Security in place for Election Day - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Security in place for Election Day

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By: Channel 8 Eyewitness Newsroom

Press Release from Secretary of State John Gale

Acknowledging that his office has received increased media inquiries concerning Nebraska’s election security, Secretary of State John Gale again expressed his confidence in the security systems utilized by his office and through third party vendors involved in the election process.

“Election security has been a high priority of our office in the past as well as the present. I want to assure our Nebraska voters that our statewide election process, based on paper ballots, is a very safe and secure system. Casting and tabulating of ballots are not Internet-connected.”

Gale explained that all tabulation equipment was tested for accuracy in each county prior to the election and audited after the election as well. Official ballot counts are not transmitted over the Internet or through any wireless communication. Official certification by the Board of State Canvassers is based upon the tabulated paper ballots from each county.

Gale added that, “Our voter registration and election night reporting systems are closed websites that are password protected. All online voter registrations pass through an encrypted process. Attempts to corrupt that data can easily be detected. We have a backup recovery database if needed. It’s a tightly controlled process.”

The election night reporting system is a closed, password-protected process as well. Throughout the night, election officials upload the unofficial results, which are then published on the Secretary of State’s website.

“From now until election night, the state Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) continues to scan external facing websites. Our vendors are doing the same for their internal systems,” added Gale. “If the election night reporting is delayed or shut down for any reason, the election itself will be unaffected.”

Gale admitted that hackers may make a best attempt to get into a closed website. “On any given day, you hear stories about hackers stealing personal information and about computer systems being disrupted or corrupted in some way. However, I believe we have taken every step that is appropriate at this point, to ensure that all aspects of the election system are protected at the highest level possible.” 

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